Consumer Alert: Did You Know that It Is Your Right to Choose Your Title Insurance Provider?

With the explosion of the internet, search engines, and marketing tools such as blogging, today’s consumer is the most educated and well informed in anytime in our history. The speed of delivery and accuracy of information available, makes investigative due diligence research very beneficial. Yet with all of this power at the consumer’s finger tips, many people fail to understand their rights within the real estate transaction.

Like a hard habit to break or an “urban legend”, consumer’s do not understand nor take advantage of their right to choose their title insurance provider within the real estate transaction.

Instead consumers allow their real estate agent to “take care” of the title insurance “piece” of the real estate transaction without (the consumer) performing any due diligence. Why is this the common practice ?

In what has been a long standing practice, title insurance rates have rarely if ever come under price pressure or scrutiny. Although title insurance companies must report their pricing to the California Department of Insurance, the price structures between title providers is very similar. Consequently the consumer is left with little bargaining power.

In what has been recognized as a standard for industry change, Patrick Kitano’s “Title Insurance Exposed! An Open Letter to the Title Insurance Industry” describes, in minute detail, title insurance industry “ills.” This is a must read for any consumer interested in protecting their right to choose.

Another fantastic example beneficial to both consumers and agents is John Harper’s article: “J. Rockcliff and Fidelity National Title.” This article explores the inner workings of a real estate company’s vendor policies and how these policies may effect consumers as well as agents.

In the final analysis, it is up to the consumer to ask the right questions. As seems to be the case in so many situations, it is a “Buyer Beware” world.